West Ham's Andy Carroll is back to his best under Slaven Bilic

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West Ham took another big step in their bid to secure a spot in European competition next season with a comfortable win over Watford at Upton Park.

While Leicester City have deservedly received a lot of praise for their remarkable campaign, it's also been a season of redemption for the Hammers - and for striker Andy Carroll in particular.

The Englishman's form over the past few years has mirrored the club's performances during the same period - underwhelming and below par.


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Carroll made just 32 appearances across all competitions in the two seasons following his permanent arrival at Upton Park, managing a disappointing seven goals. Put simply, the 27-year-old became a part-time luxury after signing for £15 million in 2013.

His career to date makes for interesting reading. Carroll's best form came during the 2009/10 season for Newcastle, scoring 17 Champions goals and steering the Magpies back into the Premier League.

Impressive early season form in the top-flight earned Carroll a £35 million move to Liverpool in January 2011, scoring two goals for the Reds in seven appearances.

Foot and knee injuries soon blighted his career at Anfield, though. The England international was fast earning a reputation as another player with undoubted ability but unable to deliver for a sustained period.

Following a loan move in 2012 and subsequent transfer to West Ham a year later, history suggested Carroll would endure another frustrating term at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign.

However, he has surprised many by shrugging off his injury woes and made 23 league appearances thus far, scoring nine goals in the process and six in his last three games.

It's been quite a turnaround for the Englishman, so much so that pundits are openly discussing Carroll's inclusion at Euro 2016. It's been well over three years since he last earned a cap for England, but his recent form and unique approach suggest he would be a worthy inclusion.

Travelling to France remains a long shot for the striker, yet there's little doubt he, alongside teammates Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell, would offer a new and much-needed dimension to the Three Lions.

An international return might not be on the cards just yet, then, but the fact Carroll is once again consistently finding the back of the net is reason enough to be happy about his progress.

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Newcastle United
England Football
Europa League
Premier League
Mark Noble
Andrew Carroll

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